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World
02 Dec 2016

Internet Archive plans Canada database to avoid Trump censorship

The Internet Archive's reaction to Donald Trump

With Donald Trump set to assume his throne in the Oval Office on 20th January, 2017, a massive US-based digital archiving organization called Internet Archive has announced that it wants to create a full back up of its database in Canada to protect it from censorship during the Trump regime.

We explore the reasons behind the organization's dire decision.

In context

The Internet Archive's reaction to Donald Trump

The Internet Archive's statement

"On November 9th, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions." -Internet Archive.

Internet Archive

A bit about the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive, founded in 1996, is a San Francisco-based non-profit digital library of "millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."

As of May 2014, the Internet Archive had catalogued data worth over 15 Petabytes (or, 15 million Gigabytes).

Furthermore, the Internet Archive's collection is growing at a massive rate of over 300 million new web pages per week.

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Internet Archive's data centres

Internet Archive has data centres in San Francisco, Richmond, and Redwood City, all in California. To prevent loss through natural disasters, the organization also has copies of parts of its database in various places like the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and a facility in Amsterdam.

Reasons

Internet Archive's reasons for building a Canada database

In a blog post, Internet Archive wrote, "The history of libraries is one of loss," whether through natural disasters or political regime changes.

With a pro-censorship Trump regime looming in distance, Internet Archive's database in Canada would enable the organization to safely steer clear of US censorship laws, and continue "serving patrons in a world in which the government surveillance is not going away".

Privacy is of utmost importance

"Throughout history, libraries have fought against terrible violations of privacy-where people have been rounded up simply for what they read. At the Internet Archive, we are fighting to protect our readers' privacy in the digital world," said Internet Archive in its blog post.

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